Party Celebrates Le Rampe Reopening
Saturday, May 18: LE RAMPE IN FESTA. Piazzale Michelangelo, Piazza Poggi, Firenze. Open 4 – 11 pm. Free admission.
The 19th century Le Rampe, designed by the architect Giuseppe Poggi, attracts hundreds of tourists and Florentines daily providing a walkway framed by enchanting stonework, fountains and green spaces, up towards the breathtaking views found at Piazzale Michelangelo. This Saturday, the city of Firenze and the Fondazione CR Firenze is inviting the whole city to a special festival to celebrate the restoration of the beloved Le Rampe. A worthy cause for celebration, there will be activities for children and families, live music, guided tours of Le Rampe, open gardens, and a magical evening show.
Built between 1872 and 1876, Le Rampe are divided into three levels containing multiple basins and water-filled grottos which are installed along the path from Torre di San Niccolò to Piazzale Michelangelo. Over the years Le Rampe fell into a state of disrepair, however, the complex has been restored to its former glory thanks to an almost two million-euro loan from Fondazione CR Firenze. As part of the recently completed restoration project, tanks were waterproofed, wells and a water recirculation system were installed, weeds were removed and the original flora was replanted.
The festival will begin with a grand choir made up of hundreds of children performing ‘The Legend of the Flying Dutchman’ from the ALL’OPERA project (from Piazzale Michelangelo to Torre di San Niccolò, 4 – 5:30 pm). Guests can be captivated by an enthralling contemporary circus show, ‘Cordes Nuptiales’, curated by two of the most renowned companies among Europe, Circo Pitanga and Cirk Fantastik. A comedic story told through physical theatre and acrobatics, this show is suitable for both adults and children (Torre di San Niccolò, Piazza Giuseppe Poggi, 4:15 – 6:30 pm).
As guests walk along the restored beauty of Le Rampe with its fountains and waterfalls flowing once again, they will also encounter beautiful live music by the Fiesole Music School. The young musicians will be performing in groups at various points along the path from Piazzale Michelangelo all the way to the Torre di San Niccolò (4:30 – 7:30 pm).
In a special arts and crafts workshop ‘Girandole and Florentine Card’, children will have the opportunity to create their own paper pinwheels and discover how master craftsmen decorate Florentine paper (Piazza Poggi, 4:30 – 7:30 pm). Another exciting workshop will also be available, this time for both children and teenagers, where they can learn how to juggle, tightrope walk and perform other acrobatic activities, under the guidance of circus professionals from Cirk Fantastik and Circo Contemporaneo (Lungarno Cellini, 4:30 – 7:30 pm).
Guests can stroll along and discover the splendor of the restored Le Rampe in a guided tour organized by Sigma CSC (Piazza Poggi Info Point, 5:30 – 8 pm, departure every 15 minutes). One can also marvel at the beauty of the Iris, Rose and Villa Bardini gardens, which will be open to the public until 8 pm (last admission at 7 pm).
The day will finish with ‘A Festival with Games of Lights, Sounds and Colours’, a marvelous show directed by Roberto Patrizi Malfatto (9:30 pm, repeated at 10:30 pm). True to the show’s title, a vibrant display of light, sound and colour will illuminate the Torre di San Niccolò and the majestic waterfalls and fountains among Le Rampe. Spectators can follow the voiceover, which will be an interpretation of Giuseppe Poggi, to learn about Michelangelo’s 400th anniversary festival which took place at Le Rampe and the Piazzale. A special highlight of the show will be a magnificent flying dance performance by Elisa Barrucchieri, accompanied by the music of a string quartet.
All activities are free and do not require reservation until available places become filled. For more information contact 055 5384001. (stephanie d’amelio)